Switch up your order on the Corner, and try these intriguing, delicious dishes!
The Virginian: The Mac n’ Cheese … to the next level.
The Virginian is a Charlottesville favorite and Corner staple. Famous for their Stumble Down Mac n’ Cheese, this creamy pepper jack macaroni and cheese — $5 for a starter serving, $10 for an entrée — that’s topped with a homemade cheddar potato cake is a “beloved favorite” and a must-try for The Virginian’s diners.
There’s a secret way to enhance this famous mac and cheese. You can pay extra to add almost any topping to accompany the potato cake — pork, bacon, chicken tenders, pico de gallo and more.
Because their menu doesn’t indicate this option, general manager Ashley Major says this mac and cheese alternative is spread through word of mouth.
“[Customers] can add honestly whatever you want to the mac and cheese,” Major said. “A lot of people get the buffalo chicken mac and cheese … I personally will get the mac and cheese and add pico de gallo … It’s probably one of my favorite things to get.”
You can add any type of chicken or pork for $5 and bacon for $1.50. Adding pico de gallo costs $0.75 and other toppings vary by cents on the dollar. Next time you dine at The Virginian, consider taking their famous mac and cheese to the next level.
The White Spot: The Gus Krispy Kreme Donut Burger
The White Spot is another University and Charlottesville favorite. Located on the Corner on Main Street, they’re open every day except Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. Famous for their $4.55 Gus Burger, White Spot serves burgers, fries, sandwiches, desserts and more.
There’s another burger White Spot serves that’s equally as praiseworthy as the Gus Burger. It’s a Gus Burger between two Krispy Kreme donuts.
This combo isn’t listed on their menu and currently doesn’t have an official name. Diners can request it by asking for a Gus Krispy Kreme Donut Burger. For about $7, this burger comes between two grilled Krispy Kreme donuts, topped with an egg and cheese. White Spot keeps Krispy Kreme donuts on-hand for their “Grills With” dessert option. Therefore, this secret menu item is almost always available.
The Pigeon Hole: The Country with a Twist
The Pigeon Hole, located on Elliewood Avenue, is known for its tasty brunch and cozy atmosphere. Open every day except Wednesdays, this brunch spot is the perfect place to enjoy a warm plate of food and coffee in the comfort of the Hole’s little blue home.
The Pigeon Hole has three delicious eggs benedict options listed on their menu. Most of their diners don’t know there’s a fourth option though — the Country with a Twist. This entree is a spin-off of their normal Country eggs Benedict, which includes poached eggs, sliced ham and house hollandaise on two biscuits.
The Country with a Twist still includes poached eggs, sliced ham and house hollandaise. The “twist” is that it’s served on wheat toast and topped with grilled plantains. The toast soaks up the hollandaise sauce making each bite flavorful and moist, and the plantains add a sweetness to the benedict that wasn’t there before.
Pigeon Hole’s general manager Arthur Johnson says the Country with a Twist is much larger than the normal benedict, but the price is the same — $12.
“It’s a good deal for the people who are willing to try it,” Johnson said.
Having tried it myself, I highly recommend you do too.
Shenandoah Joe — ‘Corner Joe:’ London Fogs
Corner Joe coffee shop is Shenandoah Joe’s Corner establishment, located behind Asado and Corner Grocery on Main Street. The atmosphere of its one-room shop joins cozy and coffee like no other!
Corner Joe is best-known for their pour-over coffee, but they also have a great tea selection. One of my favorite drinks to order is the London Fogs. Priced at $3.90, the London Fogs is an Earl Grey tea served in a large cup with either vanilla syrup or honey and steamed milk.
Although it is not listed on their menu, barista Ashley Harvey would recommend that customers order it.
“[It’s great] if they’re looking for something that doesn’t have much caffeine but is still nice and warm,” Harvey said.
The sweetness of the honey and warmth of the steamed milk bring just the comfort you need for a cold — or foggy — day.
Grit Coffee on Elliewood: The Honey Bear
Grit Coffee is another local and loved coffee shop, and their Elliewood location is frequently crowded with students fueling their productivity with Grit’s delicious coffee.
One of Grit’s secret drinks not listed on their menu is the Honey Bear. This latte contains espresso with vanilla syrup, honey, cinnamon and steamed milk. A small Honey Bear is $4.74.
Second-year College student Amelia McCrory says she likes the Honey Bear because it’s not too sweet.
“It has more of a natural taste than some other flavors,” McCrory said. “It’s very comforting.”
Try the Honey Bear to feel the warmth of sweet cinnamon and espresso.
The secret is out. Your favorite Corner restaurants and cafes have menu items you didn’t know you could order, but I encourage you to do so. Now it’s your decision to pass the word along or keep the secrets to yourself.